USA drop to 30th in latest FIFA Rankings

UruguayCopa (Getty)

South America's top performers at Copa America saw the biggest boosts in the latest FIFA World Rankings, with champions Uruguay catapulting 13 places to No. 5, while Chile climbed 16 spots to No. 11.

The U.S. men's national team fell six plays to No. 30 in the world in the latest Rankings. The United States fell after losing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final, while Mexico, the Gold Cup champions, sit at No. 20 overall after dropping 11 points.

What do you think of this month's FIFA rankings? Think 30 is too low for the USA, or just about right?

Share your thoughts below.

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93 Responses to USA drop to 30th in latest FIFA Rankings

  1. Vincent Fox says:

    The US team needs to locate that “special Mexican restaurant.” I sure after a meal there, our rankings will improve

  2. Annelid Gustator says:

    Bottom half of the top 32. Yeah, still about right.

  3. Danny says:

    About right. Should climb after the friendlys. FIFA rankings blow though.

  4. partnerincrime says:

    deservedly so.

  5. jonk says:

    Well, we didn’t play any games in the month of July so that’s to be expected.

  6. NE Matt says:

    We are easily better than 10-12 teams above us, but with european teams playing many more meaningful games as they build towards EURO 2012 and the way these stupid rankings are scored, its no surprise that teams like Norway, Greece, Montenegro, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, Slovakia and Switzerland are above us.

  7. AL17 says:

    Way off base. We’re a top 20 team despite recent results. This is the same ranking that has both England & Portugal at 6th and 7th respectively.

    FIFA rankings a good idea but in this case so off the mark.

  8. Mikey says:

    Before any homer complains about the rankings, I’ll point to this country’s performance in the Gold Cup. We couldn’t beat Panama in a friendly folks.

    I think we’re lucky to be at 30.

  9. dcm says:

    england is at #6. that shows how realistic these are.

  10. Jamie Z. says:

    #1: If we played them in a tournament, it wasn’t a friendly.

    #2: I don’t put much credence in FIFA rankings, but your logic is severely flawed. Losing to a lower-ranked team should not require a team to fall below them in the rankings. Better teams lose to worse teams all the time. We beat Spain a couple years ago: that doesn’t mean they should have dropped 25 spots in the rankings.

  11. KevDC says:

    As always, the rankings are a joke, but hey, we’re here talking about them, right? That’s really all they are good for — debate.

  12. BB says:

    England gets the “we invented this game” bias.

  13. Court says:

    Croatia & Norway in the top 12? England @ 6? What a Joke.

  14. irishapple21 says:

    Why even report on FIFA rankings? They are completely meaningless.

  15. bryan says:

    i don’t think it’s too far off. but i don’t get why australia is above us. but then again, brazil went up while argentina went down even though both exited at the same time.

  16. jake says:

    We DID beat them in the game that mattered, the knockout game.

  17. jake says:

    Actually they are used in seedings for most of the continental tournaments. So, yeah, they are good for quite a bit. Are they accurate? Eh, within about 8-10 spots I’d say so.

  18. jake says:

    See my reply to KevDC…

  19. jakcns says:

    Your an idiot…

  20. mistadobolina says:

    USA and Ghana..underrated.

    I would rather be underrated than overrated.. like England, Australia, Norway, etc…

  21. Can someone help me understand how they are a joke?

    What are the metrics you think be used to rate teams in the ranking?

    What is it about the methodology you do not like or think is biased?

    I don’t understand the FIFA rankings are a joke criticism. Since they revised it, seems to be a better system than the last.

    Since the World Cup, the US record is kind of weak. How does that not reflect our position in the rankings?

  22. Tractor says:

    I think that the best example of the flaws in the FIFA rankings is what happened to Mexico. Despite a very impressive showing in the Gold Cup, they plummeted in the rankings because of their performance in the Copa America, even though it was their B team (at best) playing in the latter.

  23. away goals says:

    The argument against the rankings being meaningful is that there is no algorithm that can legitimately order teams that play such disparate, local (for the most part) competition.

    Really it’s kind of a joke to think ranking teams accurately is even possible. See also: college football. True league play (play every team, home and away) is the only real way to obtain a meaningful table.

    Rankings can still be fun for talking points though.

  24. Poo says:

    Any ranking system is difficult when items 15-30 are not that far off. The bigger issue is trying to rank teams than how Fifa does it. Would almost be better if they ranked them based on grades or tiers or something…i.e. A+= Germany, Holland, Spain, Brazil. A= XXXX, and so on.

  25. TimN says:

    The U.S. has put together a string of shaky and downright poor performances, so it’s to be expected. Having said that, I think we’re probably better than #30. I would say somewhere in the 18-22 range would be more accurate.

    I think the U.S. really needs to consider a coaching change. I know this has been discussed ad nauseum, but I think our recent showings suggest a drought of new ideas and creativity, and an unfortunate clinging to old favorites such as Jonathan Bornstein that have proved very costly. There are lots of talented players out there in the U.S. pool. Bring them in and give them looks. This could possibly open up a whole new set of ideas in terms of formations and tactics as well.

  26. Frank says:

    It was Mexico’s fault for taking a B team to an A FIFA tournament.

  27. Nick says:

    insightful even though he is right

  28. plug 713 says:

    Bob Bradley’s tenure as head coach has been an almost complete failure. Absent a late, and very successful, run at the Confederations Cup, the USMNT had produced very little under his tutelage. It is my opinion that he must be replaced promptly, before World Cup qualifying begins and any coaching change becomes very problematic.

  29. Saulo says:

    Actually it was CONCACAF that made Mexico take it’s B team. Glad to see you keep up with the soccer world 😛

  30. Poo says:

    I also agree that bob needs to go, but to describe his tenure as “an almost complete failure” is just silly.

    If this is an almost complete failure, what would be a good job, winning the world cup.

    Reset your expectation plug.

  31. Jason says:

    I would say bottom half of the top 30 would be accurate for us. Australia, Norway, and Japan better than us though? I seriously doubt it.

  32. RB says:

    Please stop. It’s embarrassing. Mexico didn’t win the GC because a few players had some clenbuterol in their systems. They were simply better than the US and everybody else there.

  33. predicto says:

    I agree with the ranking – close enough. We’ve been in relatively poor form lately. And I do prefer underdog to overhyped.

  34. RB says:

    “Really it’s kind of a joke to think ranking teams accurately is even possible.”


    link to

    FIFA itself has already accepted such a system for women’s rankings, but TPTB can’t bring themselves to allow it for the men.

  35. predicto says:

    My view is BB has done well and he represents a step in USMNT’s development ladder. But me thinks it’s time to push technical ball possession and creativity.

  36. Angel FAN of USA says:

    well there were a lots of players from the Mexican Team that were positive but any was Vicent Fox was just making a Joke out of it.. Yes we know that Mexico was better.

  37. MattJack says:

    Please Support the “Save American Soccer Fire Bob Bradley” Facebook page. This news post confirms he’s a homer and should be put out to the pasture. Argentina did terrible in the Copa America and their manager was let go. We need change!!

  38. bottlcaps says:

    Part and parcel on how FIFA rankings work is predicated by how well our federation is ranked, which, sadly to say, was lower than any federation other than Oceania. While a win for a Euro or SA team against an inferior opponent will net them MORE points than a win by the US over a better opponent. So wins over Concaf opponents will yield the US less points than lets say Scotland over Macedonia. As the US ranking sink lower so does Concacaf ratings and so does our points. Wins over top opponents can only reverse this trend.

    Sadly when you select poor and/or average players as we did against Spain, well, you get what you put into it, a 4-0 loss.

    Bob Bradley hopefully understand now, that you need to field your best players in tournaments regardless of if they are in the MLS or playing elsewhere. What the MLS wants should be of little concern.

    If the US is to climb out of mediocrity, they will need to select a coach who understands that, given opportunities, no stoned must be unturned to bring in the best US players no matter if it “hurts” their club teams. and that half the battle is won in player selection.

  39. DC Josh says:


  40. DC Josh says:

    These rankings are a farce. No surprise there. Unfortunately, they mean everything when the World Cup draw comes around in December 2013.

  41. DCUPedro says:

    Not really. Well, at least not for us.

    We weren’t going to get a seed regardless. We’ll get a seeded power, a second-tier Euro team, and an Asian or African team in our group. In the end, how well we stack up will depend on form at the time. The rankings aren’t really a big deal for us.

    We are a better team now than we were in 2005, and we were ranked #6 then. That tells you everything you need to know.

  42. marco says:

    It appears that FIFA has punished Mexico for sending their best side to the Gold Cup and winning. If not mistaken CONCACAF insisted they do just that. Both Concacaf and Gold Cup are in jeopardy, as FIFA as denigrated the results of that tournament, and teams should no longer send their top sides.

  43. RB says:

    Great! Then as I say, please stop. It’s embarrassing. The joke isn’t funny, it just makes it looks like the US is a bunch of sore losers in denial.

  44. Actually, it was CONMEBOL. Don’t blame CONCACAF for South America wanting to try to ensure a SA team wins their tournament.

  45. Fernando Gingerbread says:

    Please stop taking a joke from the comment section of an article about pointless FIFA rankings so seriously. It’s embarrassing. The joke isn’t offending anyone, it just makes it look like the US has no sense of humor.

  46. CONCACAF ensures that teams send their best sides to Copa Oro by making that the confed cup qualifier. CONMEBOL this year forced MEX and CRC(?) to send their B teams to Copa America to soften the group stages evenly.

    That said, I’d LOVE to see a western hemisphere Copa Americas.

  47. Eric says:

    30 is probably 5-10 spots too low, IMO, but I guess it really doesn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things. Play well in the friendlies coming up and we’ll vault back up.

    Go USA

  48. K Bone says:

    We’re probably better than some of the teams above us, but certainly not 10-12, and definitely not “easily”. Why are you so delusional? A lot of people get called euro-swine on this website for far less, but what about ameri-swine?

  49. Clark says:

    About right. The thrashing by Spain and losses to Panama, Mexico, and I think Paraguay in a friendly. The draw against Argentina feels like ancient history already and appears to have been an aberration. Yes, good opponents but still not much to show for it. But US should continue to play quality teams because it’s diminishing returns beating up on the Guadeloupes, Jamaica’s, etc.

  50. JCC says:

    You know it’s funny, when the FIFA rankings don’t mesh with what US fans think the team should be ranked, they usually pull out the ELO Rankings card, saying they’re more accurate. So I was curious why no one has done that yet. Well it looks like this time the US is ranked 35th even lower than FIFA’s ranking so go figure.

  51. That’s funny actually. Elo means “The first” in Hungarian. The First Rating System.

    Ok…those are points well taken. It is hard to create a methodology that accurately ranks teams for a variety of factors.

    I will argue that Brazil’s C team came to the US and beat us last summer. Does that not reflect the strength in the Brazilian program?

    Mexico’s C Team goes to the Copa and performs badly. Isn’t that a reflection of their program. Apart from the 1st team, the depth is weak?

    Just another way of looking at it.

  52. EA says:

    Is this where we scream about the sky falling?

  53. BK says:

    We all better get used to it. Until USSF makes some serious changes from youth development, to senior team manager, to front office, we are going to stagnate in the 30s.

    Mark my unfortunate words…10 years of Mexican dominance over the US starting two years ago.

  54. RB says:

    “The joke isn’t offending anyone…”

    It offends me as a US supporter with a brain and a realistic view of the USMNT’s performances and its standing in the world. Which, it turns out, is precisely the topic of this article.

  55. NE Matt says:

    I listed 8 above. Toss in Australia and Turkey and thats your 10. South Korea makes it 11

  56. RB says:

    “That’s funny actually. Elo means “The first” in Hungarian. The First Rating System.”

    Well I think it’s just named after its creator, actually, but then that’s an odd little coincidence re the meaning.

    I think Poo’s comment below is actually more on target: the rigid, numbered ordering of a ranking, despite a situation where there are bunches of teams close together, is what tends to make such systems look weak. But that’s an issue of interpretation and presentation rather than the system being flawed.

  57. T says:

    This is a joke we should be further down.

  58. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    Don’t be offended. Lighten up. The USMNT is bad enough without you wallowing in sorrow over its collective ineptitude.

    Have a nice day

  59. Dlewis says:

    Its not that far of a stretch to say that Japan is better than us.

  60. Dennis says:

    See link to for how the rankings are arrived at.

    The USA should not pay too much attention to the rankings, the only time it really comes into play is for the US is seeding for the W.C. and for that to be a factor the US would have to be 6th or better,

    The US should continue to attempt to schedule games with the best opposition it can find. Bring on Spain, Uraguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, England, Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, in the friendlies, be sure to meet Mexico in qualifying. That is the only way the players will learn what is expected of them. To the extent he has a say on who to play in friendlies, this seems to be BB’s strategy for making it clear to the players what is not good enough.

    Wins against Panama, El Salvador, even Honduras are too easy except perhaps for chances to look at prospects to evaluate if they might be ready for the next level. (Of course, playing Costa Rica there, or other CONCACAF teams away, represents a special challenge during qualifying and will test the resolve and courage of even the best players.)

  61. CH says:

    Its not a stretch at all they would be favored if we played today by almost everyone. Not to say we wouldnt win but they are rally good tho.

  62. RB says:

    “wallowing in sorrow over its collective ineptitude”


    Did you bring enough of whatever you’re on to share with the whole class?

  63. RB says:

    You effectively get this if you look at the Elo rankings mentioned above, because unlike the FIFA rankings, you get not only the number of the ranking but also the points that got the team that ranking. So for example the current Elo rankings show about as much point differential between 1st and 4th as between 5th and 16th, and again about that same all the way through the US’s position and through to 36th. This appears to agree with people’s criticisms of sides like England’s being so highly ranked. The FIFA ranking is (at least usually) presented as a simple ordered ranking with no such other indication as to the relative proximity of any 2 teams or tiers of teams.

  64. RB says:

    Note sure even THAT qualifies as “wallowing in sorrow over collective ineptitude”…

  65. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    See, you’re laughing already. That’s a great start

  66. fsegaud says:

    elo = Electric Light Orchestra

    Hold on tight to your dreams!

  67. Wm. says:

    The US finished 12th at the last World Cup about a year ago. We finished second in our confederation championship, the Gold Cup. A couple of hard losses to Brazil and Spain in the last year, but also a tie against Argentina. The loss against Paraguay doesn’t look as bad when you consider they were a finalist at the Copa America.

    Our form is poor and there is a serious issue with player development. But Montenegro, Greece and Côte d’Ivoire better than us? Don’t think so.

    I’d put us barely in the top twenty-five by comparative results. No higher than twenty though.

  68. Freddie F. says:

    Brazil should drop out of the top 5. They looked horrible at the Copa America.

  69. away goals says:

    touche, RB.

    I’m still suspicious of how applicable this is to international football. There are so many matches where getting a good result isn’t the top priority.

    I guess lorinczi kind of addresses that point. If you tend to win games even when winning isn’t your main objective, you’re probably a pretty good squad.

  70. Stephen says:

    Does not matter. I could care less what we are ranked. We’re not going to be high enough to ever get seeded any time soon, so that doesn’t matter. I’m all for teams seeing the ranking and taking us lightly.

  71. Fred Garvin says:

    IS 30 even fair? How about.. like,.. 50th?

  72. Alex G says:

    Who cares about the rankings, the USMNT is in a big crisis, big deal, until Gulati and BB are fired and we start developing some player we will really improve.

  73. RB says:

    Personally I don’t know why there is such worry over the US’s position. I get the worry over the US’s performance and situation and so forth, don’t get me wrong. But the number of our ranking? Is anybody upset because we’re 32nd rather than 24th or 19th? I don’t see what it matters outside the top 5 or 10.

    Interestingly, the current FIFA and Elo rankings agree on the top 4, at least, and my guess is that there would be a good deal of consistency between them wrt to the very top teams over time (though I personally am not inclined to go trying to look up old rankings and do a lot of detailed comparisons — just my bet). Arguing over rankings much father down the list seems rather pointless, to me…

  74. RB says:

    I follow Elo rankings because they make more sense, not because they soften the blow of lower FIFA rankings for the US. The US has usually been ranked lower in the Elo than in the FIFA rankings, over the recent past. So it would be a bit hard to do it for the reasons you’re saying, actually.

  75. marco says:

    The FIFA rankings are a slap in the face to Mexico, CONCACAF, and GOLD CUP. The GOLD CUP organizers must take notice or countries have every right to send them B sides in the future.

  76. K Bone says:

    Interesting, but at the U.S.’s current from I wouldn’t consider any of those 8 to be easily worse than us. We might be better than Slovenia (who we tied 2-2 in the World Cup and we were much better then), Greece, Australia, Norway, and South Korea. None of these teams we are easily better than. By that I mean I don’t think it’s gauranteed we’d get a win if we played them. You think we’re better than Sweden? Do you really think we’d perform better than any of these teams in Euro qualifying?

  77. Flipper says:

    Mexico Sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  78. EA says:

    Look at the clubs our players played at 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006. Then look at the 2010 World Cup roster and where THOSE guys played.

    I think the “serious” issue with player development is vastly overstated.

  79. Flipper says:

    RB and the rest of you dopes do not know anything about soccer. You guys are idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mexico sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  80. Flipper says:

    Blowstein blew it and BB sucks. If Dolo could have finished the game, the US wins. You guys are a bunch meat-swingers, swinging on the Mexican meat.Disgusting!!!

  81. RB says:

    Well argued, there.

  82. Yepp says:

    That makes no sense. Why would you want to be underrated in a ranking that decides seeding?

  83. Northzax says:

    What does that have to do with anything? The gold cup the year after the WC will always be well attended because of the Confed invite it confers. And the one the year before the Cup always well attended (save by the previous champion) because of the upcoming World Cup bythe good teams and because the bad teams have nothing else to play for. You think Honduras’ door is being knocked down for friendlies?

  84. Andrea C. says:

    Where did you get this misinformation? It was Chuck Blazer and Jack Warner who forced Mexico to send a u23 side. Mexico then decided to send a u22 side to prepare for the Olympics. Just google it.

  85. john says:

    Danny, why do fifa rankings “blow”? they’re simply a function of measuring performance… as the scoreline dictates.

    i wish fifa would do a better job of managing the difference between tournaments and friendlies… mainly given extra points for making it deeper into tournaments (e.g. wc). see: atp/wta rankings.

    but generally, these rankings do a pretty good job at objective calculations. even if you don’t like the outcome.

  86. CEU_CARMESIM says:

    It’s really funny ….

    When this ridiculous FIFA ranking places the U.S. well positioned even sing and rejoice, but when this happens they rant against.


  87. Joey says:

    Maybe after we get blown out in the upcoming friendlies US Soccer will finally realize we’re heading the wrong direction and do the right thing. I dont know why they’re waiting so long?

  88. blokhin says:

    top 20 team after beating Jamaica 2-0, Guadelope 1-0, Panama 1-0, Canada 2-0 and South Africa 1-0 over the last twelve months?

    Basically a team what was in the WC only because it was the host and four teams that have not made into the Hex, let alone the World Cup in a while….

    #30 is about right…

  89. papa bear says:

    the rankings must always be taken with a grain of salt. Uruguay is not the #5 team in the world. The rankings always give more credit to teams that have played more recently though.
    However, the US is probably in about the right place. They have taken a big step back and don’t look like they are willing/able to find players who are creative and technically able.

  90. roger says:

    Wow! Mexico 20th??!! should be in the top 7.

  91. abc says:

    Yup, exactly.

  92. USfanSimon says:

    Great one!